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L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals Pharma – overdose of copying Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research When online building permits work…. L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Editor's Says Solar thermal shines… to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Why this malaise in medical education? S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist The why of tax incentives He saved millions from starvation... Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… Vibrant Gujarat A yen for wastage… Why land prices zoom in TN? 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Delhi is distant Permanent secretariat for TN GIM Medical costs hit the roof... More Shakti to resource mobilisation... Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V Secularism and anti-Hinduism Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu Russi Mody – a tribute SoA @ 80 GNS - 100: our first subscriber Convulsions in The Hindu Solar, solar everywhere … Shanti and Sadhana through Music TIAM turns a full cycle The brown list of Venkitaramanan Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami The star of Spencers is no more Discoms deserve better… Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad Modi storms Silicon Valley The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ A welcome initiative by the judiciary When the President was rendered homeless… Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities He continues the focus on social amelioration Sweeter prospects for sugar The rise and rise of KCP Cement prices continue to rise… Sri Lanka votes for change …and of a popular trade leader Align crops to agro climate endowments… S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Nuclear power at the nucleus Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria Strengthen the base... Haul over the coal Things happen by accident and not by design... Valli, they are more marginalised Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... Parliament in paralysis... Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan When Ratan Tata visited SRM Building loyalty through the stomach Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School The Jan Dhan bonanza Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... West Bengal: mindless malignancy Silver Years of Madras Musings PC’s preference for professionals Editor's Notes Revving up the manufacturing sector Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Tough task taking states together Adharma of opposition politics Return to king coal for urea... 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Nuclear power at the nucleus

Among the significant achievements of Dr Manmohan Singh was his signing a nuclear power development deal with US President George Bush. I covered the meeting and was quite impressed with the spate of deals including co-operation in agriculture and higher education. Sadly, the Communist Party(Marxist) which was part of UPA I coalition, effectively blocked progress in these. Dr Singh risked his all and succeeded in passing the bill relating  the nuclear deal. However, sadly, the pulls and pressures of coalition, succession of scams and protests by sundry groups stalled any worthwhile progress. The failure of the UPA government to convince states, including Maharashtra ruled by the Congress-NCP, was costly. 
Luckily, after BJP returned to power with a majority of its own in the Lok Sabha, the imperative to build power capacity in quick time and the belief of the new government in nuclear power have helped get the focus again on this issue. Narendra Modi has been pursuing this with vigour. He took up the matter in his visits to Australia, Japan, France and Canada which have strong capabilities in this technology. In a recent visit to India, foreign minister Julie Bishop of Australia  indicated positive signs on uranium supplies. In France, Modi worked to activate the Jaitapur Nuclear Plant in Maharashtra. Canada has agreed on setting up a nuclear power plant with assured supply of uranium for five years.  Russia agreeing to add 2 x 1000 MW sets at Koodankulam is another  welcome augury. Earlier during the visit of US President Obama in January 2015 Modi had worked on progress on this subject. 
Such persistent efforts show the promise of giving a big push to the development of clean nuclear power. For decades, India has been dreaming of creating large capacity in this sector. The approach of the NDA II government has been pragmatic and seeks to address the concerns on liability. The offer to provide for insurance cover seems to have worked well. The consistent efforts may see handsome investments and large additions to power capacity over the next 5-10 years. Congress should take comfort over the bold initiative of Manmohan Singh a decade ago and should extend unstinted cooperation. 
Power Minister Piyush Goyal has been working on a multi-pronged approach: clearing several thermal projects that had got stuck on coal linkages and environmental issues and in opting to go for more ultra-mega power projects. However, several power utilities in states like TANGEDCO in Tamil Nadu are reeling under huge debts. Their plight needs to be addressed by imaginative plans to write off a good portion of these to re-rail them on profitable course. 
With the not-so-healthy financial position of the states, electricity generation companies cannot expect much budget support from the respective governments. 


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